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Re: standards/38754: /bin/rm rm.c consistancy with other bsds
The following reply was made to PR standards/38754; it has been noted by GNATS.
From: "Greg A. Woods; Planix, Inc." <woods%planix.ca@localhost>
Subject: Re: standards/38754: /bin/rm rm.c consistancy with other bsds
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 12:58:53 -0400
On 2-Jun-08, at 2:50 AM, Murray Armfield wrote:
>> From: Alan Barrett <apb%cequrux.com@localhost>
>> Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 00:00:13 +0100
>> On Mon, 26 May 2008, murray%river-styx.org@localhost wrote:
>>> rm will display the usage message if there are no file arguments and
>>> the -f flag is used. This does not follow POSIX. POSIX says...
>>> "Do not write diagnostic messages or modify the exit status in the
>>> case of nonexistent operands."
>> You seem to interpret "nonexistent operands" to mean the number of
>> operands (not counting options such as the "-f" itself) is zero.
>> I believe that "nonexistent operands" should be interpreted to mean
>> operands that contain strings that do not refer to entities that
>> in the file system.
>> Thus, "rm -f" does not contain any "nonexistent operands"; it
>> no operands at all, and "rm" should print a diagnostic message
>> complaining about incorrect usage, and exit with an error status.
>> However, "rm -f /this/file/or/directory/does/not/exist" does contain
>> a "nonexistent operand", and "rm" should exit without any error or
>> diagnostic message.
>> --apb (Alan Barrett)
> I see your point. "Nonexistent operands" could refer to no operands,
> or no
> operands that exist.
FWIW, In the way that I normally read documents, especially standards
documents, I believe Alan's interpretation is the correct one.
"non-existant operands" are operands that do not exist.
Any decent document, and especially a standards document, would
normally say "no operands" when it means "no operands". An operand
cannot exist, or "not exist", if it is not given. ;-)
Greg A. Woods; Planix, Inc.
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